• Green olive tapenade

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    We all have Kirsty to thank for this deliciousness. She discovered a manky little jar of store bought tapenade that must have been in the fridge since before Methuselah was a boy, and started using it as a spread. First, I’m ashamed to admit this (botulism springs to mind) but second, I realised tapenade couldn’t be a difficult thing to make, so I did. The result is a spread which is fresh tasting at the same time as being strongly redolent of Provençal cooking and something a little exotic. Its name comes from the Provençal word for capers, tapenas. Traditionally tapenade is made from small black olives grown in Provence, but frankly the type of black olives available here in St. Lucia, or the more affordable ones in London taste yucky. They taste sludgy and not fresh at all. Using the green was definitely an epiphany for me and I’m sure you will agree.  The great thing is green olives are easy to find in most supermarkets on either side of the “pond”

    Makes 400g

    400g green olives (pitted)

    2 garlic cloves pressed

    6 anchovy fillets

    2 tbsp capers (I used slightly larger than nonpareille variety)

    2 tbsp chopped thyme

    zest and juice 1 lime/lemon

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    I wish I had £1 or $1 for every time I write this but……”blitz everything together in the food processor until smooth.” I only made this tapenade a few days ago and already we have had it on “definitely NOT bread;” on crackers for a quick snack; and as a base on an aubergine tower with mozzarella and tomato. The cost of making this at home is substantially less expensive than buying the equivalent in a jar.

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    Other ways of using this tapenade could be: tucking it under the skin of a chicken pre-roasting; spreading on toasted focaccia and topping with tomatoes as in a bruschetta; thinning out with a bit of olive oil and lime/lemon juice and you’ve got a vinaigrette; toss tapenade with boiled new potatoes, blanched green beans, and shallots. Chill. Add a few tomato slices, hard-boiled egg, and tuna for a Niçoise-esque potato salad; smear over grilled fish; mix into hummus; spoon it straight from the jar into the mouth…..???  

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